Come-from-behind wins have become Scott County's calling card when the Cards drop in on Madison Central for 11th Region boys' basketball showdowns in recent years.
Everything about Tuesday night's season-opening script in Richmond looked true to form until the final nine seconds.
After SC's defensive stop late in regulation, Central tied up the play long enough to earn a possession arrow in its favor and a second opportunity.
That led to Kole Browne's drive-and-dish to an open Kenyatta Hardge for a layup at the buzzer — Hardge's only points of the game — and an 85-83 victory.
“It was probably a gamble that went too far,” SC coach Tim Glenn said of the fateful final possessions, “Chase (Grigsby) had that ball in his hand, and Browne ripped it through. Jeremy (Hamilton) did a good job standing in front of Browne, but he made a good pass to the open cutter.”
Madison Central ended a 12-game losing streak against Scott County that dated back to the 2006 regional championship game.
The winning basket followed what SC deemed a controversial call after junior Micah Glenn, the coach's son and a central figure in the rally, came up with a loose ball under the Madison Central basket. Officials quickly whistled a held ball with 9.3 seconds left, and the possession arrow favorre the Indians.
“We had a great defensive stand. We pushed them to the outside, and our help got down there. Micah intercepted it and ripped through,” Glenn said. “As soon as he intercepted it, I could have called timeout, but it was one of those things where all we had to do was get one pass or one dribble out of there. Their guy had one hand on the bottom of the ball and was reaching around.”
Micah Glenn scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half to lead the Cardinals, including back-to-back 3-pointers in a 50-second span to tie it at 83.
SC trailed for the entire game to that point: A technical foul for dunking in pregame gave the Indians a 2-0 lead before the clock even started.
“I told him, 'Son, I think I'm the most proud that you wanted the ball.' He got most of them attacking really good, under control,” Glenn said, “That's what we look for anybody to do, to get your shot out of it or find someone open to get theirs.”
Isaiah Haynes added 20 for SC. He and Glenn were a persistent, resilient one-two punch after SC faced its biggest deficit of the night at 13 points on Braeden Ray's 3-pointer to christen the second half.
Hamilton (12) and Nick Mosby (10) also scored in double digits. Elias Richardson combined nine points with a team-high six rebounds.
Browne led all scorers with 27 points, including 13-for-17 from the free-throw line. The Indians were 23-for-29 as a team at the stripe, while the Cards left points on the table with a 17-for-31 showing.
“We've got to buckle down and make our free throws. We were terrible from the line tonight,” Glenn said. “We did a good job attacking in the second half, and it got us to the line. We got into the bonus early, and that's a big thing that helped us mount that comeback.”
Will Hardin had 18 points, Ray 16 and Jaylen Davis 12 for Madison Central, which led 19-10 after one quarter and 47-37 at the half.
“We're still missing a few things defensively, like containing that middle drive, and that caught us,” Glenn said. “I told them don't make me say this as many times as I said it last year (after early-season losses), but there's just a few small things that if we get them honed in correctly could put us over the top.”
Glenn’s late threes made SC 10-for-18 from deep in the game.
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at email@example.com.